The Leader of the caucus, Hon. Kingsley Chinda recently revealed this in a statement on Sunday, and Nigerians have been reacting.
According to him, FG should do the needful as soon as possible because failure to do so will make them charge the Federal Government to court for violating the right of citizens.
He added that the threats to arrest anyone devising another means of using Twitter is also a bluff because there is no written law favoring that directive.
His words, “On Friday 4th June 2021, Nigerians received with rude shock the news of the Federal Government’s indefinite ‘suspension’ of Twitter Nigeria.”
“This rather rash suspension was supposedly anchored on the allegation that Twitter had allowed its platform to be used “for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.”
“The announcement by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture also insidiously instructed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT (Over-The-Top) and social media operations in Nigeria.”
“As expected, this announcement has sent shockwaves amongst believers in democracy and rule of law across Nigeria and the entire world.”
“We note with great concern that the suspension of Twitter by the Federal Government is one more step in a litany of attempts to restrict the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens as enshrined in and guaranteed by Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution.”
“Nigerians will recall that on 4th August 2020, the Minister of Information and Culture issued/enacted an Amended 6th National Broadcasting Code for the country which similarly imposes restrictions on sundry fundamental freedoms.”
“Convinced that the Broadcasting Code is a violation of Chapter IV of the Constitution, this Caucus filed a suit before the Federal High Court, Abuja Division in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1136/2020 between Rep. Kingsley Chinda & 8 Ors v. Minister of Information & 2 Ors. This matter is still pending.”
“We also note with great worry attempts by the government, at least going by the statement issued by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, to prosecute Nigerians who have chosen not to be cajoled by a government intent on violating their right to freedom of expression guaranteed by Section 36 of the Constitution 1999, and who have continued to express themselves through their twitter handles by using the VPN application.
“The supposed suspension imposed on Twitter has no legal foundation as executive fiats, no matter the language they’re couched, have no force of law. No citizen can be tried for an offence that has no basis in law or backed by a written law and punishment prescribed.”
“For many Nigerians, social media is not only a means of escape from the drudgery of daily existence but has become a veritable source of employment, advertisement, and meaningful engagement.”
“Twitter, in particular, has become an integral component of the citizens’ ability to keep the government in check and to provide real-time feedback on the impact of government’s activities on the citizenry.”
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